Paul McShane determined to put hole in Hull's promotion drive

Reading skipper Paul McShane wants to help put the brakes on the promotion drive of former club Hull when he returns to the KC Stadium tonight for the first time since leaving in the summer.
Paul McShane determined to put hole in Hull's promotion drive

McShane made over 130 appearances for Hull before heading to the Madejski Stadium on a free transfer in July, but insists there will be no room for sentiment as managerless Reading bid to halt a three-game losing run against the third-placed Tigers.

“I was there for six-and-a-half years, so I know a lot of people up there,” the 29-year-old Irish international defender said. “I’m looking forward to seeing everyone, but we’re there for one reason: That’s to try to win the game. Hopefully we can do that.

“They have got a few new players, but I know pretty much all of them. They’re a good group of players and I enjoyed playing with them... It will be good to see them, but it’s going to be strictly business.”

Reading caretaker boss Martin Kuhl, who takes charge for his second game following Steve Clarke’s sacking on December 4, has urged the board to name a permanent successor soon in a bid to halt the club’s recent slide.

The Royals were in second place two months ago, but one win and five defeats in their last nine matches has seen them slip to 12th.

“We’re having a bad time at the minute, but we’ve got to keep going and going and keep looking for that win,” said McShane. “I’m still confident that we can turn it around and I’m still positive that we can have a right crack at it this season.”

McShane returned to the side after a facial injury in Saturday’s 1-0 defeat at Preston and is expected to start again, but midfielders Stephen Quinn (knee) and Aaron Tshibola (ankle) remain doubtful.

Hull ended a three-game losing sequence of their own on Saturday with a 1-0 home win against Bolton to climb to within two points of the automatic promotion places. They will be without injured skipper Michael Dawson, ruled out for up to six weeks with knee ligament damage sustained at the weekend, and Alex Bruce (back), but winger Robert Snodgrass could make his first start of the season after overcoming a dislocated knee.

  • The Football Association of Ireland have confirmed the Republic of Ireland will play Holland in their final pre-Euro 2016 Dublin friendly, as reported in yesterday’s Irish Examiner.

The FAI have said the match will take place at the Aviva Stadium on May 27, just over a fortnight before the Republic’s Group E opener against Sweden in Paris on June 13.

The Republic start preparations for France with Dublin friendlies against Switzerland and Slovakia on March 25 and March 29, respectively.

Martin O’Neill’s side plan to play a fourth and final friendly away from Dublin before the European Championship starts, though the opponents and venue have yet to be finalised.

The Republic face a tough Euro 2016 task, with Belgium and Italy providing group opposition, as well as Sweden.

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